Author Topic: Favorite Star Wars era?  (Read 4786 times)

Offline slash78

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Favorite Star Wars era?
« on: September 03, 2010, 04:58:45 PM »
So what's you're favorite era?  Old Republic?  Prequels?  Original Trilogy?  New Republic?  NJO?  Legacy Era?

I've had too much time on my hands lately and I've used much of it to read.  Both rereading much of my extensive EU collection and reading some new books.  The Original Trilogy and that which follows has always been and like will always be my favorite Era. 

I started out re-reading X-Wing: Rogue Squadron and read it through Solo Command.  Tried to re-read Courtship of Princess Leia, but I couldn't.  Sithspawn!  That is an awful book.  Then I decided to skip Tatooine Ghost.  Not because I don't like it.  I do.  But I can read it any time.  At that point I decided to go and see if there were any books that I might want that I don't have at the local Borders.  Found Coruscant Nights I-III.  Usually I like to read books in chronological order, but I decided after rereading Heir to the Empire (no longer the Perfect 10 I once though, but still the bar to which all EU books are measured as far as I'm concerned) I read Coruscant Nights I. 

While I can't say Coruscant Nights I was all that good.  It wasn't all the bad.  There was a certain novelty to the timeframe.  After which I read Dark Force Rising, then Coruscant Nights II and III.  Thought they were better then the first.  Then came The Last Command.

I can see why a lot of fans like these books.  The store is constructed and paced like the movies.  Always beginning in space and with a little bit of action.  Zahn's characters are as powerful as they are because he doesn't want the to be completely overshadowed by the OTs Heros.  This seems to piss off the anti-Zahn, pro-Dark Empire, pro-KJA novels and many of the pro-NJO people.  If Mara Jade is as much a Nimbo and is Luke's equal or superior in everything, then why does she always turn to him when she needs help?  Because she's got skills, but she's not that skilled.  Talon Karrde IS a better smuggler then Han Solo.  Because Solo left the profession 9 years before HttE and much more of a lone operator.  Not an organizer.  But he's still no Han Solo.  Thrawn IS a military genius compared to the bumbling ass-kissing idiots the Emperor usually had as military leaders.  Militarism and Professionalism are too different things.  The Empire is very heavy on the former, but light on the latter.  And yes, Thrawn had them dancing to his tune, but Delta Source played a big part of it. 

After I saw a reference to Imperial Commando: 501st.  Went down and bought it.  (Along with Death Trooper and Betrayel, but haven't read them yet).  I would rate it with the Coruscant Night novels and Rise and Fall of Darth Vader, that I reread right after it.  Imp Cammando was interesting and I might buy some of the previous Republic Commando books.  But I'm not sure.  Again, novelty of new charactors in a new, but somewhat familiar timeframe. 

Next came Isard's Revenge.  Then Alliegence.  Not Zahn's finest hour as I'm concerned.  But not as awful as CoPL or from CotJ thru Crystal Star, but somewhat below the X-Wing Series, Thrawn Trilogy, Hand of Thrawn books and some others.  Certainly not as enjoyable as I, Jedi.  Which I'm currently re-reading.  And I definately see that as an alternative to re-reading KJA's Jedi Academy Trilogy. 

Though between Alligence and I, Jedi I flipped through Dark Empire again.  As a sequel to the Original Trilogy it might have worked.  In the same universe as the Thrawn Trilogy it's nothing more then a gapping hole in continuity.  While I can't blame all that went wrong after it, it constitutes a problem.  Jedi powers are more powerful then they have any reason to be.  And look even more out of place after the Prequels.  New ships were introduced and were automatically better then anything ever seen.  Not much of a plot (even by comic book standards) and seems to ignore most of what happened in the Thrawn Trilogy.  The "Imperial Civil War" sounds like something that would have happened right after the Battle of Endor.  Not something 6 years later.  And how DID the Empire capture Coruscant?  And how did Leia become a full-fledged Jedi over night?  While some complain about Zahn "refusing" to use other's characters or referencing their works, all the Dark Empire people did was chance a half-dozen dialog boxes and called it "good".  No, Dark Empire is a continuity blister and the authors that wrote books set right after it didn't help at all.

But enough of that rant.  I still have to figure out where to go after I, Jedi.  I think I can comfortably skip re-reading CotJ.  As is everything after it up to the New Rebellion.  It isn't until the Corellian Trilogy that things start getting back on track.  I might even re-read the NJO.  But I'll have to reread at least SotP and VotF before then.  And probably Outbound Flight and Survivor's Quest.

The only pre-Ep. III book I've read to date is Outbound Flight.  Any of the others any good?  Last time at Borders I though about buying the first Darth Bane book.  I was going to get Imp Commando and two of Darth Bane, Betrayel or Death Trooper.  Decided to get the latter.  Death Trooper won out because it was in my favorite area (but so was Death Star, the only Star Wars book I've started and have never finished).

I'm excited about three books in the works.  Zahn is writing a sequel to Alliegence, Hand of Judgment (though I probably shouldn't be too excited).  Aaron Allston is righting a new Wraith Squadron book (I presume will be pre-NJO) and then there is Holostar.  While I didn't like the Dash Randar from SotE, again, it's in my favorite Era.

Offline Broken Subspace Scene

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Re: Favorite Star Wars era?
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2010, 06:13:42 PM »
I think the early New Republic books by Zahn, Stackpole, and Allston, are far better than pretty much any of the other works or eras.  They're the only ones that really capture the spirit of the movies or expand upon them in any interesting directions.  New characters, major expansions of movie bit characters (pretty much singlehandedly making Wedge a cult favourite), etc.  They also capture a nice balance of the Rebellion no longer being a plucky underdog, but before it's the clumsy, crappy government of the later New Republic and early NJO books.  There's kind of the sense of the untamed galaxy you have in the OT, and you have the fracturing Empire as a compelling and multi-faceted threat.  The various warlords or villains of the week in many of the NR and Old Republic books just blow or are nonsensical.

Most of the prequel/Old Republic books don't hold much interest to me or are written by inferior or more fanboyish authors.  NJO had its moments, moreso around the early-ish middle.  It was extremely drudging at times and a lot of the books had little resolution.  I loved a few of the books though, like Denning's "Star by Star", and most of the reliable New Republic era authors deliver good books.

Legacy is just bad and a horrible, fanboyish rehash of everything.  I really wish I hadn't wasted money on those books, especially given the near-complete lack of payoff.

Offline The Daft Punk

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Re: Favorite Star Wars era?
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2010, 06:40:28 PM »
I'd say it's a tie between the Old Republic era, as seen in KotOR and KotOR 2, and BSS's favorite, the early early EU era, before it got incredibly retarded.
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"Until a man is 25, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest motherfucker in the world. If I moved to a martial arts monastery in China and studied real hard for 10 years. If my family was wiped out by Colombian drug dealers and I swore myself to revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live, devoted it to wiping out street crime. If I just dropped out and devoted my life to being bad."
- "Snow Crash", Neal Stephenson

Offline slash78

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Re: Favorite Star Wars era?
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2010, 12:03:54 AM »
Legacy is just bad and a horrible, fanboyish rehash of everything.  I really wish I hadn't wasted money on those books, especially given the near-complete lack of payoff.

Just bought Betrayal and haven't had time to read it yet. Was googling some Star Wars stuff and saw a spoiler about Mara Jade in that series.  Not sure I'm looking forward to it.

I'm kind of torn though.  I understand those who love the NJO because so many of the books from then end of the OT thru Specter of the Past were total crap.  Bantam and Lucasfilm did a really, really bad job of vetting authors.  That being said, you can rewrite the NJO and compress it down to a trilogy and not really miss anything.  It was like the WHOLE purpose of the NJO was to destroy all the Bantam-WEG continuityin favor of Fanboy Garbage.  When I read Vector Prime the first time I thought they were going to kill Mara off so Luke could be either some drearly "warrior monk" or go find a Callista-like damsel-in-distress "good girl".  And how many worlds have to be destroyed in repetitive and depressing ways before you've made the point of how powerful the Yuuzhan Vong are? 

The sad fact is TIE Fighter was better written then so many of the novels.  And it was a flight sim!

The biggest sins in the Bantam era of publishing?  Everyone tried to give Luke a Girlfriend.  The Empire died too quickly.  Too many Superweapons.  Everyone was trying to kidnap the Solo Kids.

Now Zahn can be faulted with the first too.  It was clear that Mara Jade and Luke would get together at some point.  Most of the ones from the Bantam Era I can't even recall from the top of my head.  There was the one in Truce at Bakura.  One of the Dathomiri Witches wanted him.  The awful and useless Callista Ming.  Whatername from the Black Fleet Crisis, who's only purpose was to sleep with Luke and keep him out of the storyline altogther.  Did I forget anyone?  Then there was the fast dying Empire.  At the beginning of HttE the Empire had been pushed back but it wasn't nearly defeated.  It grew under Thrawn, but by Dark Empire it had both the strength to retake Coruscant, but was all but gone by Jedi Search.  Lucas himself it responsible for the superweapons.  But it was Dark Empire that made the fasionable in the EU.  World Devestators and the "galaxy gun".  Nor was the Sun Crusher, Eye of Palpatine, Darksaber or Centerpoint Station any better.  As for the Solo Kids, I'm not going to get started.

Ok, Mara Jade was naive enough to think she was the Emperor's only 'Hand'.  I get adding a few more.  But does every marginally force sensative have to be the "Emperor's Hand"?  Isn't that what the Inquestors were for? 

Enough of the ranting for now.

Offline Broken Subspace Scene

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Re: Favorite Star Wars era?
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2010, 06:26:46 AM »
I don't think you could have compressed NJO down to a trilogy without losing a lot of good material and not having as extensive of a 'the world's falling apart' feel, but it was definitely way overlong.  They should have screened out the weaker authors and kept it tighter.  A big failing was, as you said, repetitive depressing destruction of various worlds.  There was a weird element of continuity porn they kept bringing in, like they had to show how every world and every one the fans knew was dealing with the crisis and/or getting blown to hell. 

Offline The Daft Punk

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Re: Favorite Star Wars era?
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2010, 07:19:21 AM »
This is coming from someone who never ever read a single NJO book, nor most of the Bantam era books. My experience with the EU is pretty much limited to the Thrawn Trilogy, Dark Empire, KotOR 1 and 2, and a few Young Jedi Knights/Kevin J. Anderson books, so take this with a massive grain of salt. It seems to me that the problems with the EU, at least with the books, is that they went from zero to 60 with the threats.

The early stuff was very much "Status Quo is KING", i.e. no matter what happened in the books, pretty much everything would be reset to normal by the end of it. You had Luke and the Gang squaring off against Hutt crimelords, or useless Imperial Warlords, or people like Dalla who were TOTALLY AWESOME YOU GUYS, SRSLY! but were actually morons who got their ass handed to them. I think it was "Darksaber" that made me realize how insane this was when they killed off Crix Madine, and acted like this was a HUEG deal. CRIX MADINE WAS DEAD! I had no idea who he was, nor did I care, and yet it was supposed to be this major event. Then you had books like the NJO, the Legacy of the Force, etc., where suddenly it's these massive Galaxy wide threats, where ANYONE CAN DIE and you've got planets being obliterated and all that. That's a hell of a whiplash.

Secondly, when you've got multiple authors running around a shared universe, they tend to stick to their own "mini-universes" than try and collaborate on a unified vision of that things are going to look like. Karen Traviss writes about how fucking awesome the Mandalorians are, and how everyone who doesn't like them blows and is a Nazi, and Kevin J. Anderson still trying to make Dalla scary, and Zahn about how hot Mara Jade is and how much of a crotchety badass Bel-Iblis is. It's just disjointing to read these different people characterizing people in wildly different fashions.

Finally, the universe is beginning to get old, and creaky. It's in critical danger of implosion.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2010, 10:32:31 AM by The Daft Punk »
Harder.Better.Faster.Stronger
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"Until a man is 25, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest motherfucker in the world. If I moved to a martial arts monastery in China and studied real hard for 10 years. If my family was wiped out by Colombian drug dealers and I swore myself to revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live, devoted it to wiping out street crime. If I just dropped out and devoted my life to being bad."
- "Snow Crash", Neal Stephenson

Offline Broken Subspace Scene

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Re: Favorite Star Wars era?
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2010, 09:39:01 AM »
Really well put, that's a good point.  I guess I hadn't consciously thought of it in that way before, aside from many of the books being of lower quality.  Whiplash is a good way of putting it, because it was an overly large course correction to account for the slow progression that had come before.

Karen Traviss writes about how fucking awesome the Mandalorians are, and how everyone who doesn't like them blows and is a Nazi

Oh my god, this x1000000.  Her books made me want to punch a dolphin in the face.  Look at me, I can write stupid names with apostrophes!  OMG and they wear unbreakable armor! 

Very good point about the different writers.  It makes sense that authors are going to have pet characters, but sometimes they compartmentalize too much, and other times screw up each other's characters (ugh, poor Pallaeon and Mara Jade).

If you've never read the X-Wing series, then I think you're missing the biggest single block of quality programming in the EU universe.  Those books essentially chronicle the switch from the Rebellion to a truly established New Republic government/the new status quo, which everyone else then dicks with. 

Offline The Daft Punk

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Re: Favorite Star Wars era?
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2010, 10:28:40 AM »
I don't know, the first Star Wars books I ever read were the Thrawn Trilogy, and it seems like everything after this would just be a let down.

Did you ever read Karen Traviss' defence of her attitude towards the Jedi? It's pretty much exactly what you'd expect

I haven't read that much by her, but I read a quote from one of her books where she tried to argue that the three dominant forces in the universe were the Jedi, the Sith, and the Madalorians. My eyes rolled so hard I went blind for a week.
Harder.Better.Faster.Stronger
~~~~~~~~
"Until a man is 25, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest motherfucker in the world. If I moved to a martial arts monastery in China and studied real hard for 10 years. If my family was wiped out by Colombian drug dealers and I swore myself to revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live, devoted it to wiping out street crime. If I just dropped out and devoted my life to being bad."
- "Snow Crash", Neal Stephenson

Offline Broken Subspace Scene

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Re: Favorite Star Wars era?
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2010, 12:03:22 PM »
The X-Wing books aren't as celebral, but they're fun as hell.  I haven't read them in quite some time though, so I'm not sure if they hold up.

She sounds about as nutty as I expected.  So everyone who likes Jedi is...racist?  From her psychobabble perspective, what does her hard-on for Mandalorians mean?

Offline The Daft Punk

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Re: Favorite Star Wars era?
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2010, 12:44:07 PM »
I love how she says she says that if you like the Jedi, then ..."you're someone who harbours a vile and degrading belief in the concept of Untermensch" (which doesn't even make sense, it should be UBERmensch), whilst she writes pages unt pages UNT PAGES about badass physically-and-mentally-superior warriors.

I think her hard-on for Mandalorians comes from her background, which is all TA (Territorial Army, like the National Guard but more hardcore), Military fiction, etc. and she's bringing that into Star Wars. Now, I can't fault her for that, I'm kicking about a Harry Potter story that has B-2's and nuclear cruise missiles, but she transfers that "Man, guns and planes and missiles kicks ass!" attitude to a Hideo Kojima level of "SOLDIERS ARE SELFLESS HEROES MISTREATED BY EVERYONE!" crazy. She thinks that the Clone Army was 3 million dudes, and the Jedi universally thought of them as slaves and worthless cannon fodder. And then she got mad and left when people contradicted her.

Jesus Christ, I do not understand this woman.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2010, 12:48:23 PM by The Daft Punk »
Harder.Better.Faster.Stronger
~~~~~~~~
"Until a man is 25, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest motherfucker in the world. If I moved to a martial arts monastery in China and studied real hard for 10 years. If my family was wiped out by Colombian drug dealers and I swore myself to revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live, devoted it to wiping out street crime. If I just dropped out and devoted my life to being bad."
- "Snow Crash", Neal Stephenson

Offline Broken Subspace Scene

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Re: Favorite Star Wars era?
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2010, 01:02:12 PM »
Well, it could make sense in that the Jedi are the ubermensch and the norms untermensch I guess.

That's interesting in her background, and sheds a lot of light on her writing style.  It also makes the fact that in one of her books, a certain Jedi trains under the Mandalorians, more interesting.  Instead of just 'picking up an alternate fighting style', it could be interpreted as a need to prove her Aryan--erm, Mandalorian--supermen are superior to the Jedi.

Quote
Jesus Christ, I do not understand this woman.

Does The Daft Punk understand any women?  *rim shot*

Offline slash78

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Re: Favorite Star Wars era?
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2010, 02:08:08 PM »
You are missing out on the X-Wing series Daft.  When it first came out I heard it was a tie-in to the X-Wing series of games.  For that and the fact it wasn't about the main characters I thought it was likely bad.  Again, when you're the last few books you had read where Chrystal Star, CotJ, Darksaber, Planet of the Twilight and the Black Fleet Crisis there really isn't much hope about a series written by two authors I had never heard of and hadn't written other Star Wars stuff yet.

Well, about half way though the NJO I was desperate to read something else.  Something less depressing and pointless.  Because of the name and cover I read Solo Command first.  After that I quickly read the rest of the series.  And since I've thought of it on par with the Thrawn Trilogy. 

Can't really comment on Karen Traviss because the only one of her works I've read to date is Imp Commando, but some things are fairly repetitive in that book.  To me there lifestyle is Rustic "traditional" boarding on Nutcase Survivalist.  They only things they lack are the Stars & Bars, 4x4s with monster truck tires, "Outer Rim and Wild Space" music and "Kurs, the Mando Ale".  Sorry, but having lived in rural areas I find the lifestyle neither wholesome nor charming.